More than 200,000 Tennesseans have taken advantage of the opportunity to vote early for the Nov. 4 elections. Others are encouraged to do so before the early voting period closes Oct. 30. View a sample Rutherford County ballot here.
Through the first seven days of early voting, 224,721 people across the state have taken advantage of the opportunity to cast their ballots early. People can vote early at their county election commission office or, in some counties, at satellite voting locations around their communities.
"For people who already have their minds made up about how they plan to vote, I encourage them to consider the option of voting early," Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins said. "Voting early gives people more flexibility to pick the days and times that they cast their ballots, which is helpful because you never know what might come up on Election Day. Some people might get sick on Election Day or be unable to make it to their voting precincts due to bad weather or other unforseen circumstances. Early voting eliminates those potential problems."
In many cases, early voting locations have shorter or even nonexistent lines, which reduces the amount of time voters must spend waiting to cast ballots.
Coordinator Goins noted that higher early voting turnout also means shorter lines on Election Day.
"That reduces the stress on voters and election workers alike," Coordinator Goins said.
Information about early voting locations and hours is now available online and via a new smartphone app, called GoVoteTN, that the Secretary of State's office unveiled recently. That app is available free of charge from the Apple Store and in Google Play.
Coordinator Goins reminds voters to bring valid photo identification issued by the federal or Tennessee state government with them in order to cast their ballots. College student IDs and photo IDs issued by cities, counties, and other states will not be accepted.